10 innovative oil and gas startups to watch
As the industry continues to encourage youth to enter the workforce—and to bring digital innovation with them—interesting developments are coming to light
The oil and gas industry often laments its evident talent gap, as older generations retire and energy companies find themselves competing with younger technology companies for skilled talent that can bring the industry into the future.
With the reality of a lower-carbon future, and in a lower oil price climate, youth will be at the centre of the industry’s shift to new technologies that can streamline operations, cut down costs, and reduce emissions. This year’s Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Texas, displayed the innovation available to large oil and gas companies through the Rice Alliance Startup Roundup.
This event featured 60 startups, which had the opportunity to have quick-fire interviews with 40 investment groups and the investment arms of large corporations like Chevron, BP and Schlumberger. The Journal of Petroleum Technology reports that just under half of startups that participated had headquarters outside of the US.
The event culminated in ranking the top 10 most promising startups from the line-up of 60, as listed below:
This startup is attempting to develop a chemical reactor to produce commodity chemicals using light, rather than using heat from fuel burning. This would ultimately lead to a reduction in reactor temperature with the aim of decreasing costs and cutting carbon emissions by 50%.
While wireless sensors already exist, Sensorfield is developing them at a low-cost using solar panels to make them easier to maintain, without the need to replace batteries. The sensors will transmit data in real time and with no downtime to replace batteries, will have a continuous flow of data for upstream companies.
Toku’s monitoring solutions target pipeline leak detection. Its pressure monitoring system allows oil an gas companies to see the full operation more clearly, with solutions encompassing tank level monitoring, pump jack efficiency monitoring and water injection management, all centred around an IIoT system integrated with a pressure-sensing device.
This company uses lasers for internal pipe inspection. Its system measures and maps the ID of pipes/tubing digitally, and the company says it has a high degree of accuracy in defining pipe ID, volume, wear models, future caliper comparison, failed work string/tubing, corrosion, pitting, erosion, rod wear, wire line damage, mechanical damand and ovality, among others.
Lift ETC aims to enhance the artificial lift process. Its “liquid assisted gas lift” process is supposed to reduce the cost of compression while cutting emissions for gas-lift wells. The company says its technology can provide 35% yearly savings on CAPEX and 55% on OPEX.
This company has digital technology at its heart. It created a 3D modeling platform to visualise assets. The platform allows users to create 3D models of existing infrastructure and then attach data from documents, diagrams, JSAs, videos, SCADA and procedures.
Ingu Solutions describes its technology as “self-serve in-line inspection”. Its technology, called Pipers, are sensor packages that can be placed inside oil pipelines to detect issues, including leaks, defects, magnetic features and restrictions without any downtown or interruption of flow.
Dark Vision has developed an ultrasound based imaging technology to image the inside of oil and gas wells. It can image through opaque fluids, allowing companies to get detailed images without the restrictions of traditional imaging technology.
This company enables autonomous well planning for calculations from trajectory to casing, blowout simulation, tubing and conductor analysis. It takes data from API-based software. This is one of several products offered by the company.
Cemvita Factory aims to transform CO2 to create a sustainable future. Its CO2 utilisation platform mimics photosynthesis through a synthetic biological process to create nutrients and pharmaceutics which could be used for everything from agriculture to industrial chemicals. It could be used in conjunction with existing carbon capture programmes, to utilise the greenhouse gas o develop feedstock.